West Blocton Defense Pitches Shutout Against Holt
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The West Blocton Tigers traveled to face the Holt Ironmen on Friday night for a 4A Region 3 matchup that was crucial for both teams coming into tonight. However, the Tigers continued its win streak and crushed Holt with a final score of 57-0.
The game began with Holt High School receiving the opening kickoff after winning the coin toss, but they were forced to punt after a penalty put them in a long third down situation.
West Blocton drove the ball down the field on its opening possession after receiving the ball in Holt territory and got down to the goal line with a chance to put points on the board early in the game. The Holt defense tightened up at the one yard line and was able to prevent West Blocton from punching the ball in.
After stopping the Tigers at the one yard-line, Holt attempted to run its way out of the tricky situation. West Blocton linebacker Cooper Deerman striped Holt quarterback Anthony Powell and walked into the end zone to score the first touchdown for West Blocton.
Holt received the ball in favorable field position, but could not convert on fourth down near midfield.
West Blocton carried its momentum on the next offensive play when freshman quarterback Trey Lawley found wide receiver Tyseon Smith on a 30-yard crossing route. Smith broke a tackle and ran in to score the first offensive touchdown of the game.
The Tigers defense stopped Holt again on downs, received the ball back, and looked to score again quickly. However, Powell, now playing safety for Holt, read Lawley's pass and intercepted him but was marked down at his own one-yard line.
The Holt offense starting clicking and picked up a first down to escape the possible safety situation. However, at the start of the next series of plays, Powell was sacked and hit hard by junior linebacker Seth Isbell. Powell was forced to leave the game after receiving an injury on the play.
The Holt offense was forced to punt after failing to convert. The team was unable to move the ball effectively the rest of the game once the injury occurred.
"He suffered a really bad concussion, we're just waiting on an update and hoping he's alright," said Holt head coach Dustin Hyche.
West Blocton opted for the running game after the errant pass on the last drive and on the first play from scrimmage sophomore running back Nate Barron took the ball around the left edge of his line and another 21 yards to the house.
Barron finished the night with 37 rushing yards and the singular touchdown.
The game continued to spiral for Holt after getting the ball back deep in its own territory on the ensuing drive. The snap on the punt was fumbled in the end-zone and recovered by the kicking team to put two more points on the board for West Blocton.
The Tigers received the ball back after forcing the safety and returned the kickoff down the the Holt 28-yard line. Lawley completed a 17-yard pass to sophomore wideout Evan Pearson. Three plays later, Lawley handed it off to Hunter Brand where he sprinted his way in to score.
Holt took the following kickoff back to the 48 yard-line giving the Ironmen their best field position since early in the first quarter. Backup quarterback Michael Ramsey passed the ball to fellow senior Jaylen Vaughn who took the ball down to the West Blocton 25-yard line before getting the ball stripped from his hands.
Holt's defense forced West Blocton to punt for the first time all game after forcing a three-and-out. West Blocton answered the call and forced Holt to punt again. The special teams continued to be a problem for Holt as the group fumbled the snap at its own 14-yard line.
Lawley and Smith linked on the first play of the new drive to give the pairing two touchdowns on the night and a lead of 36-0 heading into the locker room for halftime.
After receiving the opening kickoff, Holt kicked off to West Blocton to start the second half. West Blocton returner Kevin Montgomery followed his wedge and was able to return the ball down to the Holt 18 before being stopped.
On second down and firmly in Holt territory, Lawley connected with his favorite target Smith again on a 18-yard touchdown pass to kickstart the second half and give the two their third shared touchdown of the game.
"As long as they continue to work, we're going to continue off of their success," said West Blocton head coach DreMail King.
Lawley finished the game with 115 yards through the air and the three passing touchdowns to his Smith who accounted for 57 of those yards.
Holt was forced into another three-and-out situation and punted the ball back to the Tigers who got the ball back at midfield.
Deerman, now playing running back for West Blocton, gashed the Ironmen defense on the second play of the drive for 42 yards and set up his team with a first-and-goal. After failing to run the ball in the first two attempts at the goal line, backup quarterback Nick Kelly swung the ball out to Deerman for a three yard touchdown pass.
The following possession Holt's offense was tackled for loss on the first two plays of the drive. On third down a, Kelly, playing cornerback, jumped a pass from Ramsey and took to the residence for the second defensive touchdown of the game for the Tigers to arrive at the final score of 57-0.
Holt (0-6) will travel to Sipsey Valley next week where the team is still looking to pick up their first win of the season. West Blocton (4-3) will look to keep its winning streak alive when they host American Christian Academy next Friday.